The LLMC-Digital Newsletter
January 22, 2007
1– LLMC Board meeting in Hawaii -p.1
2– LLMC links with Canadiana.org -p.1-2
3– Extern scanner goes in at LA Cnty. -p. 2
4– 2nd Zeutschel scanner finds home -p. 2-3
5– Completing state court reports project -p. 3-4
6– Content growth in 2007/08 -p. 4
7– The volume count game -p.4
Special LLMC Board Meeting in Hawaii
Normally our Board of Directors meets twice annually. The mid-summer meeting is usually held at the same time and place as AALL in July and as AALS in January. This year, however, the Board will hold its mid-winter meeting on Feb. 18–19 in Hawaii. The site-specific reason for this change in venue is that, along with other business, the Board will be inspecting our present HQ building in the town of Kaneohe to assess whether it would be in our long-term interest to invest substantial funds in its renovation and upgrade.
As most readers know, LLMC is the beneficiary of a symbiotic relationship with its host institution, the Univ. of Hawaii (UH). For thirty years now the UH has provided us with housing for our HQ and production operations. (Endnote # 1) In exchange, LLMC has been of major assistance in developing the UH Law School Library. The quarters provided us have heretofore been reasonably adequate for our use. But now they need to be significantly upgraded, particularly in the areas of electrical and air-conditioning infrastructure, if we are to continue production with the caliber of equipment required in our digital operations. In addition, part of our building is decrepit and unusable, so that a major purpose of the renovation would be to reclaim this needed space. The Board anticipates that, if they decide to go forward with renovation plans, they also will be mounting a capital funds drive seeking assistance from outside sources.
LLMC Links with Canadiana.org
LLMC is currently actively negotiating a partnership with another non-profit provider of legal and law-related data both online and in microfiche format. Our prospective partner is Canadiana.org, the digital-era manifestation of the former Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM). Its web site is www.canadiana.org. While independent, the organization is closely tied to the Canadian Government from which it receives in-kind assistance (e.g. its offices are located in the Canada Library and Archives Building in Ottawa). Partial funding comes from “Partners” in the form of grants, but the main funding is from “Members” (i.e. subscribers, principally Canadian academic institutions.)
CIHM's role for years was the preservation of early Canadian imprints by conversion to microfiche. Like LLMC, it is now in the process of moving its content from fiche to an image-based on-line format. Mostly it is digitizing from its film backfile, but it also does some scanning from originals. The content web site, called Early Canadiana Online (ECO), is at www.canadiana.org/eco/english/collect.html.
Digital content on ECO is partially restricted to subscribers and partially free to all. The current breakdown is 54% restricted and 46% free. Most of the law-related material on the site falls in the restricted area. The current size of the ECO database is about 2.2 million page images, versus about 15 million for LLMC-Digital. Most ECO titles fall into the short-single-document class. This contrasts with the bulk of LLMC's Canadian titles, which tend to be multi-volume runs of court opinions, session laws, and the like.
The gist of the contemplated barter arrangement is that LLMC and Canadiana.org would swap digital images (tiffs) in cases where one is lacking a title. The payoff to Canadiana.org is saving a lot of money not having to scan large titles that LLMC already has done. The payoff to LLMC is receiving the images for many rare titles where obtaining access to the original paper would be very difficult or impossible. In essence, for us this arrangement is the functional equivalent of placing an extern scanner in the Canadian national
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archives. It offers us the opportunity to add some very valuable content to our service at low cost and low risk. (Endnote # 2)
LLMC and Canadiana.org staff members are now testing out the technical details of a tiff exchange. No problems are expected in that area. If that prediction proves out, this partnership will be brought on for formal approval by the LLMC Board in February.
Extern Scanner at Los Angeles County Law Library
We are delighted to report that on Feb. 12 the fourth unit in the LLMC extern scanner program will be installed at the Los Angeles County Law Library (LACLL). The LACLL digital book scanner will be an SMA21, the same step-and-repeat model that is used in our extern scanner operations at George Washington Univ. Law Lib., the St. Louis Univ. Lib., and the Hawaii State Archives.
This particular installation will have great import for the acceleration of our Common Law Abroad project. (Endnote # 3) Since the project's inception LACLL has served as the lead library for lending its materials. Over the years the Library has shipped hundreds of its books to our plant in Kaneohe, HI, at first for filming and then later for scanning. Now that laborious process will finally become vastly more easy and efficient. In effect, we have taken the mill to the mine. The predictable result will be that materials from LACLL's rich collections will become available to LLMC-Digital patrons much more quickly and in greater quantity. It will also mean that some out-of-bounds titles, which could not be shipped due to their fragility, can now be scanned and made more widely available.
All of us owe a great debt of gratitude to our friends at LACLL for volunteering this enhancement of their already exceptional contribution to this major aggregation project. With this new capacity in place we can expect to see the completion date moving years closer.
Second Zeutschel Scanner Finds a Home
Some time back we mentioned in this newsletter (Endnote # 4) that we would be phase out our two original book scanners (model Zeutschell OS5000) in favor of more advanced equipment that would help us streamline our production processes. Our Zeutschels, still had years of potential use for certain purposes, but, since there is virtually no resale market for this equipment, we decided to give our machines away to other non-profits who could make good use of them. The first machine went to the University of Michigan, which uses it to scan books which are too fragile to be run through the Google mass-digitization project going on in Ann Arbor.
The second machine has now been donated to the Federal Judiciary for use at the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts. For the past two years the Administrative Office has been providing us with the hardcopy for a variety of federal judicial titles. (Endnote # 5) Now future updates for those titles and many other new issuances of the Administrative Office will be scanned at the source in Washington, with LLMC receiving copies of the tiffs. In addition, the
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Administrative Office will be using the scanner to facilitate internal communications and records preservation. We are delighted to have had a part in helping our friends in the judiciary get their scanning program off the ground, and we welcome the opportunity it provides them for continuing their valuable contributions to the LLMC-Digital content.
Completing State Court Reports Project
While LLMC is continually adding titles to all of its subject collections, we like to concentrate our main efforts on one big project at a time. For the past year and more our focus has been on replicating in digital, and even expanding beyond, the state court reports collection we already offer in microfiche format. That project is now more than two thirds completed, with the last big push to come over the next six months.
Our main donor library for state court reports has been Wayne State University Law School Library. In a magnificent contribution to our common effort, Wayne State has given LLMC virtually the entirety of that part of their state court reports collection that was out of copyright, retaining only a few early Michigan nominatives where they had just one copy. Most of the Wayne books have now been scanned, with only the last five states in the alphabet still in process, and 350 or so volumes of odds and ends still in transit.
Of course, not all of Wayne States' books were suitable for scanning. As in most libraries, some books were more heavily used than others, or had pages missing, etc. So there are many gaps, and we now are asking all LLMC-Digital libraries to check out their duplicates and potential discards to see if they can help us fill gaps in the sets already on line. Remember that, if you provide books that LLMC needs, they don't really leave your collection; you've just moved them over to your digital holdings. Meanwhile, you stop paying annual rent for the hardcopy storage. (Endnote # 6)
LLMC friends in several states have undertaken to ensure that their states' holdings are complete. For example, Maryland State Law Lib. is assembling gap materials for the MA collection and the Virginia Law Libraries Digital Collections Consortium, led by the Univ. of Richmond Law Lib., is doing the same for VA. We would welcome similar focused efforts by local groups elsewhere.
Our goal with our digital state court reports collection is to make it the most comprehensive collection of such materials available
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from any source. So we expect to significantly surpass even the extensive state court reports collection we already offer in fiche format. For example, this time around we will be adding all of the“ Pennsylvania Side Reports.” We can all thank the University of Chicago Law Library for making this possible by donating all of the non-copyright volumes in their collection for scanning. If, as you go through our holdings lists for the various states, you see that we fail to list a title from your state, let us know, and we will add it, so that libraries holding a copy can consider gifting it or loaning it for scanning.
Content Growth in 2007/2008
As mentioned above, LLMC is continually adding titles to all of its subject collections, and we will continue to do so as hardcopy is assembled from various quarters. For example, we have now assembled about two thirds of the volumes of the Permanent Edition of the Congressional Record, and will begin ramping up the scanning of that title in 2007. In other areas, we have recently received over 20,000 volumes of historical Canadian, South African, and Indian materials from St. John's University Law Library, the Middle Temple Library and Lincoln's Inn Library. Much of this material is quite rare, and all of it will be slowly introduced into the production stream as capacity permits.
However, our primary focus after we finish up the state court reports collection as described above will be on continuing to flesh out our U.S. state holdings by adding session laws, compiled laws, and attorney general opinions. In preparation for this work we have begun assembling the books. We already have in house, or have received commitments for the hardcopy, of the complete run, or major portions of a run, of session laws for six states. Also, our Middle Temple gifts included a valuable assemblage of early state compiled laws. Finally, the University of Iowa Law Library has just gifted us with a major collection of state attorney general opinions (Endnote # 7)
Given the gifts already in house or in transit, LLMC has made a good start on assembling materials for its next big push into state session laws, compiled laws, and attorney general opinions. However, except for the Hawaii and Alaska session laws, none of our other runs are complete. Please keep us in mind when handling any potential discard materials in these subject areas.
The Volume Count Game
A recent point of controversy in the law school library world is a proposal being considered by the ABA Section on Legal Education Committee's Questionnaire Committee that would, in effect, remove volume count as a factor in ranking libraries and would group everything included on LLMC-Digital as being just one title. Several of our members have queried whether LLMC intends to take a stand one way or the other on this proposal.
We've talked this over with a number of wise heads, including LLMC Director Richard Amelung, who points out that LLMC-Digital is approaching near universal coverage among U.S. law school libraries. He adds: “Since almost all of us are subscribing, using either title or volume count would just mean that all of us would float up by x number. So why go to the bother of figuring out the exact number. Let's just all add 1.”
That sounds sensible to us. Therefore, since we apparently don't have a dog in this fight, our inclination is to just sit back and watch while the ABA Committee does whatever in its wisdom it decides to do.
1. The Consortium was housed originally on the main, Manoa, campus of the UH in central Honolulu. When its building there was demolished due to an expansion of the sports facilities, LLMC moved to its present building, located on the campus of the Windward Community College, a component of the statewide UH system.
2. The main risk factor, of course, is that a barter arrangement might undermine our subscriber base. Fortunately, LLMC and Canadiana.org are ideally situated for such an exchange. Only two LLMC libraries subscribe to ECO. So, for the great majority of LLMC's U.S. and other non-Canadian customers, titles obtained from Canadiana. org would be a clear addition to their knowledge base. As for LLMC's Canadian customers (most of whom do subscribe to ECO), while the swap program would result in some duplication between the two services, it would involve only a portion of LLMC's Canadian offerings. A large residuum of Canadiana would still be available only on LLMC-Digital. All in all this looks like a win-win situation. It calls to mind a quote chiseled on the frieze (capitol side left) of the Union Station Building in Wash., DC. “He that would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him. So it is in traveling. A man must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home knowledge.”
3. The Common Law Abroad project is based on a bibliography of the same name which targets about 30,000 volumes of legal materials generated in or for the former British colonies, in all cases at least up to independence. Additional information on this project is available on the LLMC web site at www.llmc.com/Historical_CLA.asp.
4. Issue #16, Dec. 2005, pp.2-3
5. Federal Probation, Judicial Caseload Statistics, The Third Branch, and many similar titles.
6. To make it easier for cooperating libraries to check to see if LLMC still needs a given volume in a title, we have just modified and simplified our title-tracking system on www.llmc.com. The simplified records have now been completed for all states, going alphabetically, through Kansas. The records for the remaining states will be bought up to date over the next month of so.
To demonstrate how the gap-tracking system works, it might be easiest just to walk through one state, Alabama; where incidentally we still have quite a few gaps. Go to the website home page, and click successively on the following tabs: “search holdings” – “view all holdings” – ”U.S. States” – “Alabama”. Once the Alabama list of eight titles comes up, you will see immediately that that we lack all volumes for the last six titles; Minor's Reports, etc.
Moving on to the titles where we do indicate holdings, if you then click on the second title, you will see that there are Xs in the “LLMC needs” column for Vols. 1, 2, 12, 16, 19, 22, 23, 34 & 42. Finally, when you click on the first title and then track down the “LLMC needs column, you will see from the Xs that LLMC needs a whole slew of volumes up to 210. For volumes after 210 you will see the symbol “AC”. This signifies that those volumes apparently are in copyright and that LLMC will not be providing you with a digital alternative in the near future. Unless you have an alternate digital source, you should consider retaining those volumes on your shelves for now.
Finally, as long as you are there, this would be a good time to check out the LIPA aspects of the LLMC record keeping system. For the Alabama Reports, please track down the Columbia Law Library column in the yellow section. You will see that, while Columbia's print-preservation-program copy is complete, many of the Columbia volumes are marked with an “I”. This means that Columbia's copy is of poor quality or may be missing pages; so that, if the copy you are considering for discard is in good condition, they would welcome a donation. To find the appropriate contact person for the LIPA program at Columbia, click on the “COL” symbol at the head of the column.
7. The Iowa gift lacks only AZ, IA, MO, OK, RI & TN. Hardcopy runs included are: AL, 1888-1955; AK, 1917, 1929, 1935-1940; AR, 1911-43; CA, 1856-1982; CO, 1856-1982; CT, 1889-1965; DE, 1963-67; FL, 1904-76; GA, 1904-75; HI, 1903-12; ID, 1903-75; IL, 1890-1976; IN, 1882-1975; KS, 1879-1976; KY, 1908-28; LA, 1888-1972; ME, 1890-1965; MD, 1916-71; MA, 1835-1976; MI, 1872-1976; MN, 1858-1960; MS, 1898-1967; MT, 1890-76; NE, 1885-1974; NV, 1896-1974; NH, 1896-1966; NJ, 1905-77; NM, 1934-76; NY, 1798-1976; NC, 1897-1962; ND, 1898-1972; OH, 1896-1975; OR, 1904-77; PA, 1887-1976; SC, 1896-1977; SD, 1894-1968; TX, 1881-1946; UT, 1896-1964; VT, 1906-72; VA, 1872-1977; WA, 1890-1970; WV, 1893-1966; WI, 1904-76; WY, 1892-1972 & the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1935-74. Gap fillers are earnestly solicited.
End of Issue # 23